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Everyone, Especially Lawyers, Should Backup Their Backups

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Gonna say it now and gonna say it again later — a successful data backup plan goes like this: 1.) you have the original file, 2.) a local back up copy of the file stored separately and 3.) you have a failsafe copy stored offsite. Lastly, parts two and three must happen automagically to prevent disaster in case you forget or otherwise choose to loose your data.

Here’s the story of a Canadian lawyer, Perminder Tung, that is suing Apple (CBC News) because the 2009 Time Capsule he owned failed, taking with it photos of his first child’s birth. Apparently, he did not keep copies on his Mac, an SD card, optical disk or offsite.

Dude’s pics are gone, it’s Apple’s fault and he’s suing for $25,000.

“The defect with the Time Capsules, which invariably destroyed the stored data, amounts to a fundamental and total breach of contract,” says Tung in his claim. “The alleged ‘Time Capsule’ [Ed. Picture the alleged asshole making air quotes with his hands] did not encapsulate and protect the information it was intended to secure. The breach destroyed the workable character of the thing sold.”

All obnoxious legalistic pedantry aside, there may be some merit to Tung’s assertion that the Time Capsule he owned had known manufacturing flaws. Nevertheless, the reason his photos are gone forever is because he’s an idiot.

Once more with feeling

Gonna say it again now — a successful data backup plan goes like this: 1.) you have the original file, 2.) a local back up copy of the file stored separately (i.e. external hard drive, optical disks, etc.) and 3.) you have a failsafe copy stored offsite (i.e. iCloud, Carbonite, Mozy, etc.). Lastly, parts two and three really need to be automagical to prevent disaster in case you forget or otherwise choose to loose your data.

“Really, it’s incumbent on the user to protect their data, especially if that data is important from a business or a really personal point of view,” says Tod Maffin, a tech guru quoted by CBC. “It used to be that the products we would make were industrial era, they were physical things, and increasingly in this information economy what we produce as a society doesn’t exist in physical form.”

There, now go 1, 2, 3 back up your stuff and don’t lose it like that (idiot) Tung…

What’s your take?


The Time Capsule Memorial Register closed in 2010.

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